The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has determined that a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) is required for the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority’s revised flood risk management project.
According to the release, the DNR will prepare the SEIS to analyze modifications in the revised project proposal. The DNR invites comments on the scope of the SEIS through June 11. The scope will determine what will be evaluated in the SEIS.
The SEIS describes the proposed project, identifies environmental impacts and considers mitigation and alternatives that may lessen those impacts. The supplemental review, which is not an entirely new EIS, will focus on those aspects of the revised project that were not evaluated in the original environmental impact statement (EIS).
The DNR will conduct the SEIS work concurrently with its review of the Diversion Authority’s permit application for its revised project.
The proposed Fargo-Moorhead flood risk management project is a dam and diversion channel system designed to divert flood waters around Fargo, North Dakota; Moorhead, Minnesota; and surrounding metropolitan areas.
The DNR denied the Diversion Authority’s previous permit application in October 2016 because it included insufficient mitigation; it did not meet state and local plans, rules and statutes; and there are alternatives that can provide needed protection.
Since then, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton created a joint task force to develop engineering options to address concerns about the project’s impacts. The project applicant considered the task force’s work in developing the current project proposal.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing a federal supplemental environmental assessment for the proposed project, which is similar to the state SEIS in scope and purpose.
The DNR will accept comments on the scope of the SEIS during a 20-day period beginning May 22 and ending June 11.